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    a babbling idiot..., 2003-10-21 17:39:24 | Main | iraq's new cleptocrats..., 2003-10-23 14:13:34

    this would seem to make sense:

    While there's no doubt that malpractice insurance is getting more expensive across the board--about 30 to 40 percent, on average, during the last three years--this increase is largely due to the ailing stock market and poor business practices in a virtually unregulated industry As a result, there's no reason to think that capping jury awards would bring premiums down, a fact the insurance industry itself acknowledges. Robert E. White Jr., president of First Professional Insurance Company, the leading medical malpractice insurer in Florida, told the Palm Beach Post in January, "No responsible insurer can cut its rates after a [medical malpractice] bill passes." The one surefire way to bring down the number of big-payout lawsuits is to reduce the number of those doctors who inspire most of them. But state medical boards--which are run by doctors--have been notoriously reluctant to aggressively police their own....Studies have repeatedly shown that only 5 percent of the nation's doctors are responsible for more than half of all malpractice payouts. Yet those lawsuit-magnet practitioners generally pay the same insurance rates as doctors who've never been sued, the equivalent of giving drunks the same car insurance rates as soccer moms with perfect driving records.

    From there it goes into the usual linking together of disparate pieces of GOP funded FUD framing the debate on false premises, and actually describes some of the "frivolous" lawsuits, which I haven't really seen any actual examples of. It even includes yet another corporate accounting scandal and further evidence that the national press corps is controlled largely by overfed lazy packrats who love nothing more than to publish anything that comes to them in the form of a glossy brochure. Now that the bills are passed and the war has turned to quagmire, though, it's time to investigate.

    The jump in insurance premiums, as noted by the article, is largely due to the recession, as insurance companies (all insurance companies do this, not just medical malpractice) invest premiums in the market to maximize returns. If the market slumps reserves shrink, and premiums go up - if the market booms then profits go up, and maybe if everybody is shopping smart, your premiums go down. Doctors have been hit relatively hard in this recession because their insurance companies have an especially idiotic business model, which has induced the illusion of a public "crisis" where there is, in fact, a failed business. Capping malpractice suit payouts becomes just another form of corporate welfare.

    Nothing like a clamp in your spine.


:: posted by buermann @ 2003-10-23 11:49:51 CST | link





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